Voting Reform: Better Ballots & Fair Vote Canada

Dave Meslin of Better Ballots

Dave Meslin’s (@meslin) vision for Toronto is a city with elections that are vibrant, diverse, relevant, and fair. Without a credible electoral process, Meslin argues that it’s extremely difficult to address any other issue. Elections should be a doorway to progress, not an obstacle.

The Better Ballots initiative wants to look at how other cities run their elections and construct a made-in-Toronto solution that meets our needs.

Better Ballots (@betterballots) aims to create a public discussion about options for voting reform in Toronto. Using a variety of methods, including public forums and social networking, they will attempt to engage as many citizens and stakeholders as possible in a dialogue that explores the problems we are facing as well as the benefits and drawbacks that come with each proposed solution.

Camille Labchuk of Fair Vote Canada

Fair Vote worries that municipal democracy in Toronto is in a serious crisis: voter turnout is abysmal, and our multicultural city has an embarrassing lack of diversity on its Council. Our current winner-take-all voting system is at the root of this problem, as it prevents certain votes from counting, and certain voices from being heard.

Fair Vote’s solution is for Toronto to introduce a proportional representation voting system. This would improve our local democracy by giving voters more choice, creating a more diverse council that reflects the face of our city, and help ensure city councillors have a broader city-wide perspective on municipal issues. Many cities around the world use this better system, and Torontonians deserve better, too. We deserve fairness and diversity in municipal politics.

Camille Labchuk (@camillelabchuk) is a member of Fair Vote Canada(@fairvotecanada), a multi-partisan citizens’ campaign for electoral reform at all levels of government. Learn more about the Toronto Chapter.